Joe Cole tells Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang he has to leave Arsenal

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has just 18 months left on his current deal (Picture: Getty Images)

Former Chelsea winger Joe Cole has urged Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave the club if he wants to ‘cement himself as a top, top player’.

The Gunners’ hopes of securing Champions League football took a major hit when they crashed out of the Europa League against Olympiacos on Thursday night.

Aubameyang missed a sitter in the final moments of the match, as his side fell to a 2-1 loss on the night and went out of the competition on away goals.

Ex-England midfielder Cole told BT Sport: ‘If I’m Aubameyang, I’d be looking out the door because he’s a player that needs to be playing at the very, very top level.

‘He needs to be playing in the Champions League.

‘He’s not played enough years in the Champions League to cement himself as a top, top player, which is what he actually is because his stats and his numbers add up with anyone.

‘I think the process Arsenal have got to go through, they’ve got to go back to the days when they’re bringing players through, which they are, Saka, the left-back, I think is different class.

‘But also they need to find these gems that they were finding 20 years ago. Arsenal will always be able to bring players in because of the name, because it’s in London and the stature of the club, players will want to play for Arsenal.’

With just 18 months remaining on his Gunners deal, Aubameyang has been linked with a move away from England, with Barcelona one of the interested parties.

The prospect of another season without Champions League football is has reportedly played a part on contract negotiations stalling.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta
Arteta has a big job on his hands to secure fourth place (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta’s side sit in 10th place in the Premier League table, eight points off fourth-placed side Chelsea.

The Gunners still have to play Liverpool, Manchester City, Spurs, Leicester City and Wolves in their remaining 11 games, and Cole feels the club are being left behind.

He added: ‘Traditionally they play good football, but again I think it’s a long road for them. I think they’re miles behind Chelsea and Tottenham, Man United, Man City.

‘Man United seem to be coming back, it’s a long road for Arsenal.’

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